South Kitsap Wolves prowl on fresh grounds

South Kitsap junior Brian Kuznek battles a Decator lineman in pass-rushing drills Tuesday at summer football camp at the University of Puget Sound. - Jesse Beals/Staff Photo
South Kitsap junior Brian Kuznek battles a Decator lineman in pass-rushing drills Tuesday at summer football camp at the University of Puget Sound.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/Staff Photo

SK’s football program completes first camp at UPS.

The freshly pressed white T-shirts that dubbed the South Kitsap football program as Narrows League Bridge Divisions champions and Class 4A state participants last year already were donned by coaches.

But with the graduation of several standouts from last season, the discussion was more about the assimilation of several new players this week than a return to state.

The Wolves finished their team camp Wednesday at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, and 12th-year coach D.J. Sigurdson acknowledged it was a little different for his staff and players.

South previously attended camp at Eastern Washington University, where Sigurdson lettered as a linebacker from 1986 to ’89, but he said the trip to Cheney became “too cost-prohibitive” and settled on UPS earlier this year.

The Loggers’ camp starts later than many colleges, including Eastern, which means Sigurdson had to adjust the team’s offseason schedule. The Wolves’ annual summer camp for high school and junior high players was held two weeks ago. Last year, those camps came after the team’s trip to Cheney.

There also are some differences between the camps. Eastern housed the Seattle Seahawks from 1976 to ’85 and 1997 to 2006 and had enough practice fields to host hundreds of campers.

At UPS, South was joined by Decatur, Enumclaw, Puyallup and Skyline.

But Sigurdson likes the setup and sees advantages to it over Eastern’s approach.

“There was very little individual stuff going on (at Eastern) outside the first 40 minutes of practice,” he said. “There was no 1-on-1’s. No inside run. No drive blocking. It was all line up and go play teams.”

The morning and afternoon practice sessions at UPS were divided into team sessions, where coaches from each school would focus on drills, and scrimmage against one another.

Sigurdson said he was excited about the “energy and enthusiasm” his team displayed throughout the camp.

South begins preseason practices Aug. 20 in preparation for its Sept. 5 season opener against Stadium. The Narrows League is unified this year — there no longer are Bay and Bridge divisions — which means eight of the Wolves’ nine games will count toward league standings.

South misses two Tacoma schools in the Narrows League, Mount Tahoma and Wilson, and plays one nonleague game against Franklin Pierce, which competes in the 3A South Puget Sound League.

The coaches must identify replacements for several graduated players, including running back Stephen Tucker and tight end Matt Foxworthy, but perhaps none more significant than the quarterback position.

Senior Bryan Dorsey and junior Gordy Anderson are vying to be the Wolves fourth different opening starter in as many years.

“It’s been a very good competition,” Sigurdson said. “They’re doing a great job of pushing one another, encouraging one another and competing. Right now, Bryan Dorsey is the starting quarterback.”

They can only hope that the questions can become as clear at other positions.

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